Kolkata

Fearing for his life, BJP MLA approaches U.P. CM, police chief

Yogesh Dhama, the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Baghpat, has approached Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the Director-General of Uttar Pradesh Police claiming that he feared for his life from notorious gangster Sunil Rathi, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail in connection with the high profile Munna Bajrangi gang.

Mr. Dhama said the gangster openly threatened him when he came for a hearing of the Munna Bajrangi case in a local court earlier this year. “He holds me responsible for putting a full stop to his illegal mining activities in the region. And the way two of my acquaintances have been killed by his men in the last month, it shows that there is a real threat to my life,” he said.

‘From inside jail’

Mr. Dhama claimed Rathi was two times more notorious than Vikas Dubey. “By escalating the issue, I am ensuring that immediate action is taken against him. My sources have revealed that he was actively communicating with his gang from inside the high security prison through some apps.”

Baghpat Additional Superintendent of Police Anit Kumar said Mr. Dhama didn’t approach the local police. “We are providing him security as per protocol. There is no change in that. Our understanding is that he hasn’t asked for an increase in his security, he has raised apprehension about a possible attack on him.”

Mr. Kumar said the feud started when the local MLA complained against Rathi’s illegal mining business. “He was doing it through his front man Manish Chauhan, who had a licence for sand mining but he was extracting more than the permissible limit. When Mr. Dhama raised the issue, the district administration cancelled his licence and a fine of ₹4 crore was imposed on him.”

On July 7, Mr. Kumar said Rathi’s men shot dead Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Deshpal Khokar, who is said to have objected to the passage of trucks carrying sand from his village. “We arrested two of Rathi’s sharpshooters in connection with the case after an encounter on Sunday.”

History-sheeter killed

Local sources said Rathi’s men also allegedly killed history-sheeter Paramveer Tugana, who is said to be close to Mr. Dhama. The police have arrested two people in the case but locals say it would be difficult to find witnesses.

Mr. Kumar said police informers and surveillance have revealed that Rathi had been using a phone from Tihar jail and was in touch with his men through apps. “It seems jammers in Tihar could not break the 4G network. We have conveyed the information through proper channel to the authorities in Delhi,” he said.

Rathi is the prime accused in the Munna Bajrangi murder case, who was shot dead in Baghpat jail in July 2018.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:05:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/fearing-for-his-life-bjp-mla-approaches-up-cm-police-chief/article32207442.ece

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